Joseph Roskos

Associate Instructor/PhD. Student

Contact Information

  • Office:
    Franklin Hall, Atrium
  • Office Hours:
    Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Email:

  • Research and Creative Interests

    racial formation, whiteness, new media, power, popular culture, performance, identity formation, Web 2.0, biopolitics, biopower,


    As a graduate student in the Media School at Indiana University, my research interests have coalesced into a body of research that centers on the politics of backlash pertaining to representations as well as the production of race and class in “old” and “new” media. Broadly, my research addresses the overarching historical evolution of racial representations and meanings and their consequences for empowerment and exploitation. I study racial identity and whiteness as public and private performances within popular culture, online/offline news media, and social networks that produce scripts of “racial knowledge” and racial capital and mediate material social relations within multicultural American society. Drawing on my academic background and understanding of post-WW2 US History, popular uses of new media, critical race theory, and race representations in popular culture and news media, my work critiques popular understandings of race and racism produced by news media and active audiences and how they shape attitudes about the body politic and citizenship. As a researcher, I focus on the production of racial politics within the white middle and lower classes in popular culture and activism, addressing the production of counterpublic discourses among publicly condemned and self-marginalized intra-racial social groups. Specifically, my research addresses and examines questions related to the production of the cultural and affective dimensions of contemporary socially conservative political and cultural activism, especially focusing on the intersection of whiteness, identity, ideologies, and positions of difference such as class and gender.

    My methodologies are mainly historical and textual analysis with critical race theory as my framework. I draw on primary sources such as historical and contemporary social and cultural texts to conduct original research and supplement it with secondary texts or academic works. For example, I have constructed historical narratives that pertain to case studies of white backlash and socially conservative politics in American history by using texts such as newspapers, films, user-generated video content, and music industries trade magazines to illustrate the material and mental concerns associated with the transformation of the spatialization of race and the reconfiguration of social and cultural norms. Although my past research has focused on “old media” such as television and newspapers, I have studied representations and formations of race in new media and I plan to conduct research pertaining to performances of whiteness and other racial identities within and across different social media platforms. For example, my master's thesis addressed how whiteness is produced, exercised, and negotiated in Facebook.

    My current research interrogates the intersection of information production and transparency as it relates to its embodiment within the construction of racial and class relations via augmented reality technology.